I’m only like 11% gay on my gayest of days, but as a fairly androgynous man, many folks question my heterosexuality including my own mother who frequently told me growing up that she’d still love me if I was a homo. There’s obviously nothing wrong with homosexuality, but I prefer to be viewed as I actually am. Nonetheless, it doesn’t really bother me when people ask me if I’m gay. I get it—I have a high nasally voice with some feminine mannerisms. I should be gay (yes, I’m stereotyping). So as I prepped to dive into South America’s conservative machismo dingle, I hesitated packing my pink-flowered cap, as I’d read multiple accounts of anti-homosexuality throughout these cultures. I consulted the omniscient Reddit community and was essentially advised not to be a bitch and just bring it. With my manboyhood now in question, my doubts dissipated. I’m bringing my gay hat.
6 weeks of my trip passed without notable negative judgment, but when I unveiled my sexy homo hat in San Antonio de Areco, my host Mateo commented sarcastically with a chuckle, “Wow. Nice hat.” It was a lighthearted jab indicative of the coming judgment in Buenos Aires.
In general, the people of Buenos Aires are notoriously arrogant pricks. As I traversed the streets of the city sans-hat, I was treated with a large mix of apathy & disdain with only occasional doses of sympathy and a few sultry looks from passing beauties. It wasn’t all bad. However, upon the donning of my cap, the atmosphere shifted. Nearly everyone avoided looking in my direction, and when they did, it was with clear contempt in their eyes. Those who I forced interactions with spoke to me curtly, and I can count on one finger the number of sultry glances in my direction. The difference was night-and-day. At the donning of a gay hat, the city transformed from a mixed bag of dicks into an ocean of premium cocks.
Though upon closer inspection, the “gay mecca” of South America seems unlikely to judge one for appearing gay. If I’m honest, it seems my flamboyant regalia may just scream “foreigner!” and Porteños don’t seem keen on outsiders. I mean, on one hand, the machismo culture is certainly the strongest I’ve seen my travels so far with ridiculously pathetic & aggressive cat-calling (which I’m taking a leap and correlating with being anti-gay). On the other hand, BA has amazingly popular gay clubs, and I saw two dudes making out in a public park, so I simply cannot imagine being universally hated there for appearing gay. I dunno—I’m just thinking out loud.
I really wanted to like Buenos Aires. In some regards, it’s the most progressive city I’ve been to so far: promotes recycling, great bicycle lanes, amazing public transport, legible street signs, and apparently the gay capital of South America…. It’s also phenomenally beautiful with its complex European architecture, ancient trees, and scantily-clad maidens. But that last item comes with a hefty amount of vanity & arrogance. No matter how beautiful a city is, if its people treat others like garbage, I can’t give it my recommendation.
On Being Blonde
Blond-haired, light-eyed, fair-skinned girls seem to have it worst in BA with constant aggressive catcalling from guys who don’t know how to take “no” for an answer and vile treatment from cruel, spiteful girls. Amy, a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Norwegian in my hostel, couldn’t make it more than a couple blocks without being harassed by men eagerly rubbing their hands together as they stepped uncomfortably close to her, audaciously complimenting her on her exotic features and kindly inviting her to stay at their house.
During a night out on the town, Amy, Sofia (a Chilean girl), and I were kickin’ it outside a pub when a man approached Amy quite specifically, ignoring Sofia & I.
“Hola. Inglés o español?”
By that point, Amy had already broken down into tears at the hostel thrice about the overly-aggressive men of BA and had had enough. She replied, “English, but please, I’m just trying to have a nice night out with my friends and don’t want to talk to other guys. Thank you, but please just go away.”
He braved on, “Has anyone told you that you’re the most beautiful girl ever?” Good lord, what lotion does he use because this guy is smoooooth!
“Nope.” This was the type of “nope” that is said to the general situation, not in response to the question. “You need to leave. Please just go away.”
“Where are you from?”
“Norway, but seriously, please just go away.” Amy, no! You were doing so well. Don’t acknowledge his questions.
“Wow. Women from Norway are gorgeous. How did you get so beautiful?”
Already approaching hysteria, Amy laughed tiredly and then groaned. She changed her strategy. “Listen, I have a boyfriend at home, and I just want to spend time with my friends tonight.”
“That’s okay. Your boyfriend is on the other side of the world. He doesn’t have to know. Anyways, all I want to do is talk with you. An awkward silence filled the air as Amy quietly looked down, shaking her head. The man turned to Sofia the Chilean girl and said, “Where are you from?” She answered him, and he excitedly retrieved his buddy. “My friend is from Chile!” We all nodded. “Sofia is from Chile, too! You both are from Chile!” Very astute.
At this point, Amy repeated her dismissal, and he replied, “But they’re both from Chile. They need to be together!” His friend stood behind him, dumb & awkward. And I should be clear that despite Amy’s kind phrasing, her tone was of absolute and undeniable rejection. Amy’s dismissals and the man’s insistence that we must hang out because of the Chileans went on back-and-forth in various forms for some 5 minutes before I decided it was time for me to save the day in the only way that I know how.
“Come on, Amy. This guy seriously has a huge dick. I guarantee he’s really good in bed. You should have sex with him.” Perhaps he wasn’t being forward enough with his intentions, so I cleared things up for him. Not knowing what to make of this abrupt entrance by the man he was purposely ignoring, he just eyed me suspiciously. “Oh hey, I’m Miles.” I gave him a wide grin and a clap on the shoulder. “Seriously, Amy. HUGE dick,” I reassured her and gave the man another big smile.
This convinced the man that I was on his side, and he gleefully spread his palms to illustrate the length of his knob. “Yes, very big penis!” he said with a stupid grin.
“No… No… I just want to be with my friends,” Amy cried to the universe, deflated and defeated.
Again, the man reiterated the size of his dong and mentioned that he lives right around the corner.
Finally, Amy realized that this won’t end until a) she has sex with this guy or b) we walk away, because this man certainly was not going to give up. “Okay, I’m sorry. I really just want to be with my friends. Have a good night,” and she started towards the bar entrance. I did it! I saved the day!
The man stood there absolutely dumbfounded. How could his efforts have possibly failed?! I looked at the man and simply shrugged apologetically as we walked away. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
On Being Another Blonde
Amy’s experiences aren’t unusual. In my recent tour through Salar de Uyuni, I met Elizabeth. Young. Supple. Blonde. Fair-skinned. Meeeooooowwwwww! I’d love to make that kitty purr. (=^･^=) *ahem* Uh, where was I? Hailing from San Diego, California, Elizabeth spent three months in Buenos Aires teaching English to the li’l babes of BA. Her story as a white, blonde, foreign female provides nuanced details of BA’s aggressively arrogant culture that mine cannot.
Elizabeth dated a surprisingly normal local man (let’s call him Gerardo). Gerardo was a sweety-pie who earned his skrilla working at a restaurant. Weeks of romantic courting passed before Gerardo finally summoned the courage to introduce Elizabeth to his friends, but this didn’t come without a warning. “Baby booby bunz [his term of endearment for her], I am utterly smitten with thee; however, I am supremely concerned with the unveiling of thee to my comrades.”
“Gerardo my love, what ever do you mean?” she asked befuddled.
“My sweet, savory strudel [another term of endearment], I do not know how to explain... It is cultural. They aren't like me. They will treat you differently.”
Wh-wh-wh-whaaaat is he talking about? This is one zany world we live in!!! thought Elizabeth as she sipped her sippy cup.
A couple days later, Elizabeth found herself in a room full of Gerardo’s amigos, full-grown men and women alike. Despite Elizabeth’s romance with Gerardo, the other guys boldly courted her, flinging their pickles in her face with only a single motive. Hmph. Some friends, I say! Meanwhile, the high-heeled, stuck up bitches avoided Elizabeth like one avoids… wearing a sweater on a hot, humid day? Hm, I was never very good with analogies. Anywho, said-bitches simply glared at our fair-haired maiden from afar, certainly uttering impolite words amongst themselves.
BUT IT GETS WORSE (((( ;°Д°))))!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
At a club, our brave protagonist was chillin’ by her lonesome just minding her own biz when a gaggle of gals came squawking over. “hElLlOoooOOO000ooo” one of them cried aloud, mocking an American accent. The other geese honked their pleasure at their friend’s cleverness. They ganged up on Elizabeth, harassing and taunting her. Suddenly, one of these ill-mannered waterfowl poured their drink on Elizabeth, and they waddled away, squawking and honking.
What could she have done? Elizabeth was outnumbered. She was powerless to the whims of this crazy, honking gaggle of Porteñas. So she did nothing.
Okay, perhaps I embellished Elizabeth’s story a little, but her boyfriend’s friends really did treat her that way, and the girls at the club really did mock her in a shitty American accent & pour a drink on her, completely unprovoked. And Amy’s story was completely unembellished. Now, I admit that these stories are not nearly as extreme as those I’ve heard of aggressive Brazilians; however, one’s bad behavior cannot be excused by another’s worse behavior. Simply put, the people of Buenos Aires suck. They’re rude, aggressive, and closed to outsiders. There are obviously exceptions like my awesome host Mateo, 。◕‿◕｡ but overall, I did not feel welcome as a foreigner in Buenos Aires.
Have you been to Buenos Aires? How do you feel about the Porteños? What's the most aggressive/rude/arrogant city that you've been to?